Photo taken with the exact settings the "class" instructed me to use to get a clear photo. I am currently taking a Photzy.com photo class and have not used my camera in Manuel mode in YEARS... Actually, the last time I used manual mode I was in high school, 20+ years ago. So to say I am a little rusty is an understatement. All that being said, I am following their instructions to a T to get a manual mode photo with the correct exposure, and am getting a very dark image. I tried to reach out to them, but of course they say this is proven to take a good photo, there must be something that is not set right on my camera. I have no idea what it could be, Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated

The attached photo was taken with the settings I was told to use:

Nikon D7000
In a room with plenty of natural light
Shooting Mode: Manual
Metering Mode: Matrix
ISO: 1600
Aperture setting: f 5.6
Shutter Speed: I am using the exposure meter and setting it to 0.

All of this SHOULD give me a good photo, correct? Well, I am getting a very dark image. Could there be another setting on my camera that is not set up correctly?

A little but about the room... white walls, wall of 2 sets of sliding glass doors to the West (behind me when I am taking the photo) One set of sliding glass doors to the east. 1:30 pm. High vaulted ceilings, sunny day outside.

Thank you

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ What shutter speed did you decide on? Can you post a copy of the result? [you can edit & upload to here but it won't let new members inline them. Someone else with higher rep will do that for you, no probs.] Are you certain there was no exposure compensation set? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 17:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Shutter Speed: I am using the exposure meter and setting it to 0." Do you mean to say that you are changing the shutter speed until the exposure meter needle reads 0 ? And when you have it set at 0 what is the shutter speed set to ? What exposure metering mode are you in ( what is the meter taking a reading of, the wall or ? Do you have the exposure compensation set to 0 ? If you take a photo in P mode and look at the settings the camera chose do they match the settings you had set in Manual mode ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 18:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ "I tried to reach out to them, but of course they say this is proven to take a good photo" Are you paying for this insightful and detailed instructional feed back. ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 19:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ "I deleted the photo"...duuuuuude. If you're trying to learn, don't delete the evidence! Get a 1TB drive for your photography as you are learning and don't delete anything! Seriously, save everything and for particular questions, make sure you save the question, notes, and answer...how else will you learn and grow as a photographer if you simply delete your mistakes? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 17:45
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @walkbarefoot The mechanism here for indicating that your problem has been solved is to select the answer that solved your problem (and if there is no answer you feel solved your problem, you are free to add your own answer and select that). Editing the title of your question is not the way things are done on Stack Exchange. I've taken the liberty to edit your title back to what is the norm for around here. If you disagree you can roll my changes back. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter M
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 23:30

2 Answers 2


I have a home office with a large window that faces south (towards the sun in the Northern Hemisphere), so it is a very well lit room during the day time. I just followed your instructions with my Nikon D7500:

  • Set to Manual mode (M)
  • ISO set to 1600
  • Aperture f5.6
  • Exposure compensation set to "0"
  • Shutter adjusted so the exposure meter in the viewfinder was tracking on the "0"

This gave me a shutter speed of 1/160 s and a very well lit photo of my office.

If I adjust the exposure compensation (for me, the small button near the shutter button that looks like [+/-]) to anything - but still keep f5.6, 1/160, the internal meter shows that the exposure is not what I am asking for, but I still get my well lit photo.

However, if the exposure compensation is set to say -3.0, and I adjust the shutter speed in order to get the internal meter to track back to the "0" position, then the shutter speed is now 1/1250 and the picture is very dark.

So I can think of 3 things:

  1. Your camera is not set up as you think it should be
  2. You have dialed in some exposure compensation and have adjusted the shutter speed faster in order to cope with that and make the internal meter track back to the "0" position
  3. Your camera isn't working correctly.
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    \$\begingroup\$ At full manual and manual iso, the exposure compensation should do nothing at all. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 7, 2020 at 5:26

"In a room with plenty of natural light"

That doesn't mean anything to me... a typical home/office will have a light level around 5-10 EV. Which would equate to a SS of around 1/200 to 1/8. If your SS is much faster than that the issue is probably what is being metered in matrix mode. Or it could be a metering offset (exposure compensation) as others have said.

What most people consider to be "plenty of light" is actually pretty dim for photography.


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